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Zee adopts fresh scheduling initiative, strengthens weekend slot

21-September-2004
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Zee adopts fresh scheduling initiative, strengthens weekend slot

Zee’s adoption of conventional scheduling means a changed programming line-up for the channel and related marketing activities. The new schedule also marks the beginning of a television property, ‘India’s Best – Cinestar Ki Khoj’. Channel officials explain that the new scheduling is a reaction to viewers’ preference.

Looking at the new programming line-up, the channel has moved its afternoon dailies ‘Reth’ and ‘Piya Ka Ghar’ to evening. Placed at the daily 7.30 pm slot, ‘Reth’ would begin the evening programming, followed by other half-hourlies, ‘Tumhari Disha’, ‘Piya Ka Ghar’, ‘Astitva’ and ‘Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan’. This will give way to the channel’s big-ticket item ‘Bollywood Dreams - Making of a Cinestar’ at 10.00 pm.

The new show hits the screen on the same day as the new format makes way on September 27. Speaking more on the show, Ashwini Yardi Programming Head, Zee TV, shares, “It’s a reality show that will show the actual journey of the aspirants who have wanted to become stars, on their way to become Bollywood icons. We have scheduled the property across the week.”

She explains that apart from the Monday–Thursday, there are episodes planned on the weekend as well, “On Friday and Saturday we will have the elimination rounds. For this we will have judges like Mahesh Manjrekar, Satish Kaushik and Ken Ghosh. Mallaika Arora Khan will be the host, besides a panel of judges where we will invite people from the audience.”

The process will bring the channel down to the last 20, where the next phase of the property called ‘India Votes’ will commence, where votes from the viewers for their favourite contestants will be invited. The initiative will culminate towards mid-November, when the channel will zero in on its final two contestants.

Replying to why the channel moved to the Monday–Thursday format, Abhijit Saxena, Business Head, Zee TV says, “Ratings indicate that our weekends have been doing very well for us. We have some of our best-rated programmes on the weekend whether it is ‘India's Best’, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’ or ‘Antakshari’. We wanted to strengthen the slot by promoting the mix in one uniform time pattern and that is the motive behind making this change.”

The on-air activities promoting the new schedule begin today. Later in the week, this will be supported by outdoor activities. The channel will also ride on the movie ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ substantially to generate the necessary awareness. Sharing on the channel’s plans of marketing, Saxena informs that quite a lot is planned around ‘Bollywood Dreams’. Says he, “The idea is to get the contestants create a connect with the audience. So we are planning a host of activities that ranges from on-ground contests to print, Internet, etc; for instance, we are covering close to about 90 colleges in six cities over a span of 10 days, getting the contestants who were a part of the hunt earlier to canvass for the others who have been short-listed.”

Channel officials reiterate that the new strategy has been to establish a relationship with the audiences and the marketing endeavours to compliment as well as supplement that effort.

The channel has put together a tested strategy backed with content and marketing. And as to what the results of these efforts would be, one would know in just a matter of time.

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